原味豆漿 (yuan wei dou jiang) “original flavor doujiang” or just 豆漿 (doujiang) or as it is usually called here in the West; Soy Milk. Since I rather dislike that sweet, oft vanilla scented liquid that masquerades as soy milk in the US in tasting fresh, only slightly sweet soy milk upon arriving in Taiwan was something of a revelation. Oh, this isn’t bad I thought, maybe this does have its merits. Being back in the states I miss easily accessible good, fresh doujiang.
To be clear I don’t consider soy milk a replacement for milk nor do I treat it as one. After all I grew up on a dairy (and there are dairies in Taiwan and they drink a fair bit of milk there as well). Soy milk exists in my fridge not to go on cereal, but to add variety, something different now and again. Doujiang is something that can stand on its own.
When I was just a young’n growing up in Iowa I remember well those large, seemingly endless fields soy beans. The US is the largest producer of soybeans in the world. We just don’t eat much of them. Of what we don’t sell some are pressed for oil and the rest of it all pretty much goes to the livestock. Too bad, by most all accounts soy is pretty healthy stuff and the mere act of consuming it won’t turn you into a raving hippy vegan either (no offense to the raving hippy vegans out there).
Incidentally in Taiwan doujiang is served in most breakfast stalls with temperature options. Hot, warm or cold. Even with Taiwan’s subtropical/tropical climate I prefer it warm. The heat enhances the subtle soy flavor and delicate aroma of the doujiang. I should point out it also usually comes in unsweetened, half sweet, sweet and salty. I prefer the half sweet/half sugar usually, just a little enhancement of the flavor without making it too sweet.
Anyway, grab a blender this is really easy to make and don’t discard the 豆渣 (dou zha) the dregs which can be used for a couple of other dishes. More on that front later.
You only need a couple things to make soy milk. Such as a blender (assuming you don’t want to dish out for a soy milk maker, which are a bit spendy), a strainer bag (they make specialty ones, but the ones from the brewery supply stores are cheaper, or just use a clean pillow case or something), a couple of big bowls, and a fairly large pot (say, one that holds 4 quarts or so). Oh and you will need soy beans. Soy beans are and easy find at most any asian market. You can use yellow soy beans (黃豆 huangdou) for regular soy milk or you can use black soy beans (黑豆 heidou) for black soy milk (黑豆漿 hei doujiang).
- 10 1/2 oz. (300 g.) soy beans (21 oz./600 g. if using black soy beans)
- 13 c. (3 liters) Water
- Sugar to taste (I’d say 1/2 c.)
- Rinse the soy beans, discarding any off colored ones, and soak them in plenty of water for 12 hours. Drain and rinse the beans again.
- Take the soy beans and blend in batches with 6 cups of water until you have a smooth, fine grained pulp.
- Strain the pulp though a fine mesh bag, squeezing all the liquid out into a large bowl. (Save the dregs for other things, store them in the fridge or freezer.)
- Add 7 cups of water to the liquid/soy bean juice.
- Bring the liquid/soy bean juice to a boil in a large pot, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, again stirring occasionally.
- Add sugar if desired and stir to dissolve.
- Store in the fridge and use within about 3 days.
See, that is really easy and a lot cheaper than buying cartons of awful store bought soy milk.